13 September 2017

South Africa: Minister Des Van Rooyen On Implementation of Interim Agreement to Ensure Service Delivery in Vhembe

press release

Minister Van Rooyen Calls for all stakeholders to work together and implement interim agreement to ensure service delivery in Vhembe

The national Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Vuwani, chaired by the minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), honourable Des van Rooyen, notes the developments in Limpopo since President Jacob Zuma's visit to Vhembe district on 7 May 2017.

Significant strides have been made to ensure that implementation of decisions and commitment made by the President on 7 May 2017 gains momentum. The IMC therefore implores all role-players and stakeholders to play their part to aid the efficiency of the process.

To speed up this implementation and create an environment conducive for effective delivery of services to communities, a multi-disciplinary team from the provincial departments has been constituted to lead the process.

The recent media reports and statements suggesting that implementation of the agreement has failed are incorrect and grossly misleading.

The IMC reminds all stakeholders that this commitment on Vuwani is an interim arrangement whilst a permanent solution to the impasse is being sought. The commitment is in line with the provisions of Section 87(4) of the Municipal Structures Act which provides for: "the MEC for local government must re-allocate that function or power to the original municipality when that municipality is in a position to resume the provision of those basic services."

As mandated by law, both the national and provincial government will provide the necessary support to LIM 345 and the Vhembe District Municipality as predicated in Section 154 (1) of the Constitution. This is to ensure that there is efficient service delivery to communities.

The Municipal Structures Act, Municipal System Act and other local government legislations require the national minister and provincial MEC responsible for local government to support, supervise, monitor and intervene in municipalities to ensure that they have the necessary and adequate capacity and capability to discharge their constitutional obligations.

This support will also be in line with the priorities of the Back to Basics approach's second phase which emphasises a continued delivery of services towards building an effective and efficient developmental local government.

Minister Des van Rooyen, as the chairperson of the IMC, emphasised that government continues to engage all stakeholders - communities and various structures and in the affected areas - to bring the situation to normalcy.

However, for these engagements to bear fruits, a favourable environment must be created by all stakeholders involved to allow leaners to attend classes, businesses to operate and communities to go on with life without fear of intimidation or violence.

All stakeholders and role-players are urged to actively participate in the organised consultation meetings to find a lasting solution to the current impasse.

In the midst of all, community livelihood and the right to receive services remains a government's priority and Vuwani communities are encouraged to unite and embrace diversity which is a uniquely South African inherent feature.

Issued by: Department of Cooperative Governance

South Africa

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